The Zoner: Through Neon Eyes I
Author: Michael Barnette
Publisher: Shadowfire Press
Pages: 49 actual pages—the rest are excerpts to Michael’s other stories.
Characters: David and Bells
Sub Genre: Cyberpunk
Book Cover Rating: 5
David Jessman has it all. A great job, a wonderful home and wealth. What he doesn’t have is a lover, but that’s about to change. Received a Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nomination for 2003. Originally Zoner appeared in Wired Hard 3 from Circlet Press, which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in 2003 in the Anthology category. Control: David Jessman has found his lover; what he’s lacking is control of himself, the situation he’s in and the blond gunwhore known to him only as Bells.
Bad as that is for a man used to being in charge, he’s finding that losing control may not be that terrible after all.
As the blurb states, David Jessman does indeed have it all. He’s rich, has a great life, a great job but he does not have a full time lover. He does however have the option of ordering what he required and he gets whatever he wants, when he wants it and one night he wanted a gunwhore. What is the world is this? Well, a whore who packs/uses a gun to protect someone. Enter Bells who was born in the Liberty Zone, the poor zone of the world we are in at the time of the story. Bells is short, his hair is long (he wears bells in the braids), he’s beautiful and too innocent looking to be a Zoner. AKA: bodyguard/killer. Don’t let the good looks fool ya.
Bells is all that and then some. He is everything David wants and everything David should fear.
I really had a good time reading this story, that at times reminded me of the Sims and what it would be like IF they were allowed free thinking. The characters were done well, the narrative very intriguing, the setting not over done, and the dialogue good. The best part? Well, I have my own favorites and you’ll have yours but lets just say if you like BDSM? You’ll like this one.